Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 61: That’s One… Word, by Paul

Posted by jetdoc on August 3rd, 2008


A challenging solve, especially for those unfamiliar with Paul’s somewhat libertarian approach; but plenty of fun, and I got through it pretty quickly once I’d solved about four.

All answers begin with the letters W,O,R,D, in four groups of seven. The clue at each location gives a definition of the answer to be entered. The subsidiary indication for each answer, minus its first letter, is given in another clue in the same group.

My main quibble is that, given the format, too many of the subsidiary indications are additional definitions; a few more like those for REMOVAL MAN or OUTBIDDING would have made this a better puzzle for me. And I think that a few of the definitions, though obvious enough in context, are a bit questionable (e.g. 9a, 22a). But please feel free to disagree.

Also, I don’t seem to have picked up on any of Paul’s usual risqué references (or, as Tilsit puts it, the ‘nudge-nudge-wink-wink’ factor). ‘Urine/pee’ seems a bit tame. Have I missed something — for example, in the wordplay at 22a, for 6d?

  Solution Definition Subsidiary part
8 WIRELESS On which was heard
I’m not sure about this as a definition, but I suppose, given the wordplay and the checking letters…
25a: IRELESS = ‘Calm’. Double definition? Hmm…
9 ROARS hoots
Not a great definition, I think.
12a: OARS= ‘essential to Oxford and Cambridge’, i.e. the Boat Race.
10 DRIP Something wet 5d: ‘late message’ = RIP. Double definition
11 REMOVAL MAN shift worker 3d: M = Middlesex opener; OVAL = test venue (a cricket ground in Kennington, South London; also in the names of other test cricket gounds, e.g. in Barbados and Adelaide); in NAME, reversed = ‘call for retreat’.
12 RETORT Answer 14a: E = ‘people’s conclusion’; TORT = wrong.
14 ROWDIEST Most loud 19d: DIES = stops; inside TWO = figure, reversed (‘backing’).
15 DISTURB Shake 10a: IS; BRUT (= dry) reversed (‘on the contrary’).
17 DYNAMOS Energetic types 1d: SO MANY (‘masses’) reversed (‘to the left’).
Already, I seem to be writing ‘reversed’ rather a lot here, though with a variety of indications for it
20 DOMINATE control 2d: [n]OMINATE = ‘suggest, rubbing out leader’.
22 WADDLE Duck
Chambers gives: ‘(vi) to take short steps and sway from side to side in walking, as a duck does; to move in a way suggestive of this; (n) the act of waddling; a clumsy, rocking gait’. To me, that doesn’t make ‘duck’ a valid definition for ‘waddle’, but maybe someone can enlighten me.See comments
23a: ADDLE = go off. Double definition.
23 WINDOW SILL the edge, domestically 22d: *(is down) ‘doctor’ being the anagram indicator; ILL = sick
24 OPAL stone 24d: PAL = person liked. Double definition.
25 WINDY [Calm] — or not?
The ‘Calm’ here does double duty, as an implied part of the definition, and as the subsidiary indication for 8a.
8a: motor racing. Double definition — ‘a form of motor racing in which cars complete many laps of a high-speed oval circuit; a motor race of this kind’. So ovals aren’t just for cricket.
26 WHACKING great
See also 22d: where does the ‘is’ fit in?
6d: HACKING = using axe. Double definition.
1 DISRAELI Old Tory 20a: ISRAELI = National. Double definition.
2 DEEP Low 15a: EEP = ‘pee’ reversed.
3 REGRET disappointment
I’m not sure where the ‘showing’ fits in.
9a: EGRET = bird. Double definition.
4 OSTMARK old money (the standard monetary unit of East Germany, before German unification). 13d: M = thousand; in STARK = total.
5 DRIVEWAY Postman’s approach 17a: RAY = beam; about IVE = this setter’s; W = wife.
6 WALL LIZARD Climber scaled (i.e. with scales) 22a: I’m not sure about this — the subsidiary part is ‘heading off to eat Taylor, as it goes’. ‘Taylor’ gives LIZ, but I can’t quite work out the ALL…ARD bit. Maybe a road goes… I’m sure someone will explain how obvious this is, in a way that makes me feel silly.See comments
7 OSCARS glitzy occasion
A slightly weak definition, maybe? But valid enough…
4d: SCARS = defaces. Double definition.
13 OUTBIDDING Offering more than 21d: UT = hut (shed) minus its first letter (‘scalping’); BIDING = staying; D = end of crossword. Shed is also another Guardian crossword setter, so the initial capital gives additional surface reading.
16 ROADWAYS Routes 11a: O = round; *(was day).
18 OIL PAINT medium for colours 24a: I L = one pound (L being the symbol for ‘pound’ in pre-decimal UK currency); PINT = measure (we still have those, especially for beer but also for Pimm’s); about A.
19 REVIEWS reports 16d: VIE = compete; in EWS = three directions (east, west, south). The first clue I solved from the wordplay. It took me a while to find a definition; ‘reports’ just about fits the bill.
21 OJIBWA Native American 18d: JIB = part of crane; WA = ‘was almost’.
22 WALLAH Indian businessman 26a: ALLAH = Godpresumably, double definition, Where does the ‘is’ fit in (see above)?
24 OIKS dislikeable people 7d: IKS = ‘ski’ (runner) reversed.

8 Responses to “Guardian Genius 61: That’s One… Word, by Paul”

  1. Fletch says:

    In 6d Wall Lizard, the subsidiary is duck heading off to eat Taylor, (m)allard.

  2. Fletch says:

    And then 22a, as it goes is the def, referring to the movement of a duck.

  3. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Fletch.

  4. beermagnet says:

    Thanks ever so much for this brilliant blog.
    The monthly Genius seemed to have been getting easier (June’s particularly about on a par with the Saturday Prize) but this one was very hard. I didn’t get very far with it and was very keen to understand how it worked, so I’m especially pleased you have explained everything so clearly.
    As a result I have been through the above with a fine toothcomb and here are a few nit-pick typos spotted:
    15A is numbered 16
    Subsidiary part numbering
    13D should be 21D (not 22D)
    21D should be 18D (not 16D)
    7D should be 4D (not 17A)

    In 26A the ‘is’ looks OK to me. I can see that Paul has been scrupulous about not using extraneous linkwords that would have made this clue construction method particularly unfair, but in this case he clearly couldn’t resist the surface reading “God is great” (i.e. Allah Akbar), and “is great” is a reasonable def. for WHACKING.

  5. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Beermagnet. I wrote this blog a couple of weeks ago, with every intention of finding time to proof-read it before I published it…

    I hope it’s OK now.

  6. Amnesiac says:

    Where was this puzzle originally published? I don’t recall seeing it!

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    The Genius is an online only puzzle for Guardian subscribers. Hopefully it’ll continue on the free site once September comes.

  8. Amnesiac says:


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